One of the questions I get asked most often is "Should I send a dispute letter to these debt collectors?" and my answer to you is this...

Before I get there I'm consumer financial protection attorney Mike Cardoza my answer is this; unless you know exactly how that debt was calculated and you have some present intent to pay all of it like right now. Unless those two things are true for you I recommend that you send a dispute letter. It doesn't have to have magic words in it.

The key elements of it are that you don't owe the debt. You know, maybe you think you owe a part of it. Maybe you owe all of it, but it's enough to say I don't know it the way it's presented. So, I don't owe the debt and then if you want to stop the phone calls and stop the letters and stop the mail for one don't ask for anything. Don't say send me all the whatever, whatever because you don't care, you know?

You know what they're saying you owe and that's not going to change their mind. You can tell them instead that I'm not going to pay it. You know you can refuse to pay either by using the word refuse or just saying in plain language, I'm not going to pay it and that stops all the collection activities, like the letters and the phone calls. It's not more likely that you're going to get sued if you do that. If you're going to get sued you're going to get sued one way or the other and then that's an opportunity to take care of it then, and settle it or defend, but it's not going to you know to anger a debt collector.

Or make them do something. In fact, they'll get in trouble if they threaten to do something that they don't ultimately do, or don't have any intention of doing. So, that's your debt. Your debt dispute letter is pretty simple. I don't owe the debt I'm not going to pay it you can put whatever else in there you like to send it certified mail so that you know they got a copy of it and then after you send it make sure you're picking up the phone and watching your mail because if they do send you letters or if they do make phone calls or if they fail to mark your account as disputed on your credit report you know you could have a case against them that could entitle you to the trade line deletion damages and possibly a waiver of your debt.